The ringtail is a mammal of the raccoon family. The ringtail is buff to dark brown in color with white under parts and a flashy black and white striped tail that has 14 -16 white and black stripes, and is longer than the rest of its body. The eyes are large and purple, each surrounded by a patch of light fur. Much like the common raccoon, the ringtail is nocturnal and mainly solitary.
The ringtail eats insects, lizards, small rodents, birds, and small mammals such as rabbits, mice, rats and ground squirrels, and occasionally will also eat fish, snakes and carrion. The ringtail also enjoys juniper, black berries, persimmon, prickly pear, and fruit in general.
The ringtail prefers to live in rocky habitats associated with water. These areas can include riparian canyons, caves, and mine shafts. Ringtails mate in the spring and the male will procure food for the female. There will be 2–4 kits in a litter. The kits open their eyes after a month and will hunt for themselves after four months.